Dec 20, 2013, 11:03 AM EDT
The idea behind tax credits and other tax incentives is to convince businesses to invest in the jurisdiction over which the taxing authority holds sway. When the business is already committed to investing in the area and there is no danger of losing said investment to another jurisdiction, there is little reason to grant that business tax credits and incentives. To do so is pretty gratuitous, actually.
Jim Walls at Atlanta Magazine has secured some documentsshowing “negotiators for Cobb County and the Braves considered funding packages that included up to $60 million in state tax credits on top of the $300 million in county funding.” . . . another incentive, created especially for new tourism destinations, that can be granted only by the governor. If the team were approved for the program, it could earn the Braves a 10-year rebate on all sales taxes it collected at the new stadium – perhaps $20 million.
The Braves are absolutely undoubtedly staying within the state of Georgia. They have committed to it. There is no going back to Wisconsin or Massachusetts. They’re building a stadium in Cobb County. Yet I wouldn’t bet a pair of fetid dingo’s kidneys that Georgia won’t give them the tax credits they want. Because governments — especially when sports are involved — have totally forgotten what the whole point of using the tax system as a means of incentive creation and have committed to straight corporate welfare. It’s pretty gobsmacking.
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